The American Dental Association recently issued the following statement: “In order for dentistry to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the ADA recommends dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks. Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.”
This pivot from the business of dentistry as usual to focusing exclusively on providing urgent dental care, is not something most group practices and DSOs saw coming. What’s worse is that there is very little information being provided as to how to protect your patients, your dental teams and your bottom line simultaneously.
Waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine to be developed, approved and distributed is not the answer – not in the short term anyway. However, there is an off-the-shelf solution that group practices and DSOs can immediately leverage to flatten the curve of coronavirus transmission without completely flattening your growth projections.
That solution is teledentistry, especially when it includes a robust patient portal. Such a solution is the latest version of TeleDent that debuted at the recent Chicago Midwinter Meeting.
Briefly stated, a patient portal enables dentists to offer their patients clinical expertise and the ability to share diagnostic information without requiring them to come to the office. You can extrapolate the value implementing a group-wide patient portal when you factor in the number of locations in your group, the amount of dental teams working from each location and the total quantity of patients these dental teams serve. Therefore, the scalability of a patient portal is of critical importance for a group practice or DSO adapting to an urgent care model.
Your patients are already familiar with patient portals thanks to their experience with those used by physicians and hospitals. As its name implies, TeleDent is a telehealth platform specifically designed for dentistry. Here’s what its new patient portal features deliver for group practices.
- Virtual Consultations: TeleDent-equipped dental groups can now use secure live video to provide personalized virtual patient consultations or more in-depth screenings across all locations, among all providers. This can be perceived being a matter of improved convenience, which patients may opt for once the pandemic subsides.
- Two-Way Messaging: Quick, convenient and secure two-way patient messaging can be utilized to help screen and triage patients before scheduling an office visit. Using a portal for patient triage is much more effective than relying on a phone call.
- Cloud Collaboration: TeleDent now utilizes cloud-based exam and patient data sharing to reduce intra-office travel. This enables group practices and/or specialists to communicate with other providers within the group should they be forced to stay in their home or unable to travel. Their expertise remains available to the entire group.
- Teledentistry-Powered Cameras: TeleDent combines browser-based software with an intraoral camera to enable essential or non-dental team members within your group to send diagnostic images and patient data to remote care providers for evaluation.
- Upgraded Home Diagnostics and Monitoring: Patients or affiliated facilities can be shipped an intraoral camera to enable remote clinical evaluation, with images and videos shared through a patient portal. This can be especially important for medically compromised patients and for those who may be at high risk of treatment failure.
We’re making it easier for dentists and patients alike to adapt to the new reality initiated by COVID-19. Do you still have questions as to why and how to implement teledentistry to provide urgent dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic? MouthWatch has a three-step plan to deploy TeleDent and flatten the curve, provide support for urgent dental care needs and help group practices navigate these challenging times:
- Free On-Demand Webinar: “How Teledentistry Can Help Your Practice Respond to COVID-19.” Presented by MouthWatch CEO Brant Herman and infection control expert, Michelle Strange, RDH. Click to register.
- Free 30-day TeleDent License: 30 days free and waived set up fee to get practices up and running. Use the coupon code RESPOND at checkout and get your license.
- Accelerated Onboarding: MouthWatch has expanded its in-house capabilities to accommodate increased demand for TeleDent training and implementation. Start by scheduling a demo.
Teledentistry has the potential to protect your patients, your team, and your bottom line, said Herman. “MouthWatch TeleDent is fast-tracking this potential into reality for group practices and DSOs.
About the Author:
Brant Herman is the CEO and Founder of MouthWatch, LLC, (www.mouthwatch.com) a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, digital case presentation tools and intraoral imaging devices. The company is dedicated to finding new ways to constantly improve the dental health experience for both patient and provider. Contact Brant at Brant@mouthwatch.com. To find out more about how DSOs can keep the dentist in teledentistry, click here.
Read other Mouthwatch articles:
Watch our interview with Brant Herman in the second half of this podcast starting at 36:15
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